Ashland mayor reacts to MARTIN’S closing

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The remaining MARTIN’s grocery stores in the area will close this summer and leave gaping holes in the communities they serve.

One of those stores is in Ashland. In an exclusive interview with 8News, the town’s mayor said he was disappointed to see the store will be closing but remains hopeful that someone will purchase the rights to the property.

“It’s a great opportunity to be in the center of the universe,” Ashland Mayor Jim Foley told 8News.  “(Interstate) 95, Route 1, (Route) 54 … you have the northern edge of the market. I think it’s a great opportunity for somebody.”

Foley told 8News Reporter Tracey Smith that he’s not as concerned about the economic impact as he is the community impact.

“We have a lot of great things going on economically so we can survive the dollar impact, but it’s a big spot, a visible spot, so I think it’s important to get something in there as soon as possible,” Foley explained.

Mayor Foley said he also wants to make sure shoppers have choices. And it’s the lack of choice that has local shopper Helen Dow upset about the closure.

“Well I’m not a fan of food lion,” she said. “And Walmart has its place, but you can’t get the quality or the individual attention and everything you got with Ukrops and a lot of the staff carried on from Ukrops.”

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